Adjusting Convertible top

Discussion in 'Exterior and Interior' started by samc, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. samc

    samc New Member

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    Anyone have either experience or documentation on adjustments to the convertible top ('01)? I've installed a few tops on other cars, and looked around at the Mustang mechanism a few months back, but I'm not clear on adjustments and the Haines/Whatever manuals ignore convertibles. My hydraulics are in good shape, going full travel, but I'd like another inch of forward movement to avoid wrestling the top into place. Nothing appears bent or missing, and it looks as though there're slots on those big brackets that attach the top to the body, which leads me to believe some adjustment is possible, but exploratory work involves removing, again, the back seat and both side panels, which is not something I want to do for fun while wearing a knee brace and a bunch of bandages.

    From topside and what I remember about being inside the side panels, it might be possible to rotate the mounts slightly; a few degrees would do the trick, but I can't tell for sure. The top is nice and taut, but not overly so, the staples are secure, the bows move freely, so there don't seem to be any mechanical problems. Does anybody have documentation such as genuine Ford manuals, etc; or experience making fine-tuning adjustments to the top mechanism? A little help about what does what would be really nice.

    Thanks
     
  2. RyanMerrick

    RyanMerrick Member

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    I don't have any official documentation for you, just personal experience with my old top and installing a new top myself a few years back.

    Typically it's not the mechanical aspect of the top that makes it hard to close, it's the vinyl material itself. The material tends to be so tight that it makes it difficult to close, especially is you leave your top down for days at a time. Once the material is removed from the frame, the top shuts very easily. I wouldn't bother with adjustments, just make sure you put your top up each night.
     
  3. samc

    samc New Member

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    I hear you, I know what you mean, but it's not the vinyl, it goes up most of the time and is nicely stretched out. The PO told me that the top had been a bear since new (you'd think they'd have gotten it fixed under warrantee, right?), I figure after 13 years I can fix it before I put on new vinyl. The guide pins ended up about 2" above the header, ¼" left, and ¼" back from the sockets, so it took quite a bit of effort to close. The little stop pins in the forward-most hinge were keeping it from straightening all the way, I adjusted them so it would unfold all the way so now the guide pins touch the header sockets, but slightly left and back. I can muscle it in fairly easily, but I'd like it to just drop in most of the way and not need to be tweaked. Before I just start fiddling at random I need some help with which, exactly, adjustments do what. I want to move slightly left, and slightly forward. It will be a very small tweak, I think. Interestingly, the weather strip seems to seal pretty well except for a small gap at the right front corner. That's a separate issue, though, and I think easily resolved.
     
  4. samc

    samc New Member

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    Well, no one here seems to know, but I found this!

    http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/sdcrowder/2010-08-24_202850_Linkage_Adjustment_convertable_top.pdf

    If this is a problem for you, better download the pdf now, it didn't seem to be there when I first started looking.

    It's about an hour's work to do a pretty complete adjustment of the top, once you find all the adjustment points. The drawings aren't all that helpful.

    In order, the star wheel for fore-aft adjustment is on the inside of the second pivot point back from the front. It's real easy to drop the screw, too. T-25 Torx, by the way. One notch on the star wheel is about 1/16" forward or backward movement of the header (front) bow, and you can adjust for side-side alignment this way too. I had to crank the left side more than the right to get the pins to line up. The top wants to be about half open when you do this; too far back and the wheel will unwind by itself, too far forward and it'll be hard to reach.

    The second adjustment, the balance, is hidden behind the plastic quarter panel covers, which means removing the seat first. It's 10 mm and a 13 mm bolt heads, and not a lot of adjustment. This one is super-sensitive; about 1/16" up or down moves the header bow nearly 1" in the opposite direction. You can correct for out-of-plumb on the header bow with this one by moving one side more than the other to get the header bow parallel to the windshield. This one is easiest with the top folded down.

    The third adjustment, the stops on the first hinge point, are a T20 torx on the rear end of the threaded stud and a 10 mm lock nut. You can see the threaded stud sticking out when the top is half folded back. These interact with the balance adjustment, above, so you might have to slack them a bit before finishing the balance, then go back and forth a couple of times. They set how far the second pivot sits above the door, if too tight the seal on the top will appear to droop down towards the door. If too loose, nothing bad seems to happen except maybe the front-most top section might come forward a bit too abruptly.

    I won't say "easy", a bit of fiddling like all convertible top stuff, but not really difficult either.
     
  5. heffe2001

    heffe2001 Active Member

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    There's also a TSB from Ford about adjusting the stops (when it closes) due to customer complaints, I'll see if I can find it again and post it.